Maranan elected as new NIA administrator; Nangel looks forward to rice farming | Inquirer News

Maranan elected as new NIA administrator; Nangel looks forward to rice farming

MANILA, Philippines — Former National Irrigation Administration chief Antonio S. Nangel has relinquished his office to his successor who immediately expressed his own criticisms about the NIA’s performance, adding to the laments of President Aquino.

On Tuesday morning, the NIA board elected Claro V. Maranan for a year-long term (up to July 31, 2014) as their new vice chair and as new administrator.

During turnover ceremonies held Tuesday afternoon at the NIA headquarters in Quezon City, Maranan said the agency failed to formulate a comprehensive planning for its operations for the past several years.


“We will be conducting the strategic planning immediately,” Maranan said. “We need that done by August.”


He said another priority that NIA had slacked on was the maintenance and assessment of dams, which posed a threat to NIA itself as well as the public in the vicinity of such facilities.

“The Department of Budget and Management also wants NIA to submit (a report on) obligating the agency’s appropriations for 2013 which should have been done in June,” Maranan said. “If we don’t do this (by a new deadline of August), the funds may be realigned (to other projects or programs).”

He added that the NIA central office would start delegating responsibilities to the regional offices to help boost accomplishments.

He noted that the head office has been tied up with some 20 projects but has organized only one team for bidding and assessment – “Hindi po natin kakayanin (We can’t make it).”

Maranan eased the throttle a bit when he mentioned President Aquino’s observation of NIA’s low accomplishment rate. He said the state firm was able to do much after all, except for some backlogs.

“Let’s not forget that all things fade and all time passes; people have their eras and eras have their people,” he said in Filipino. “Everything that happens in this world is by the grace of God, and I hope we can accept things that are destined for all of us…”


Nangel, who delivered a final speech as outgoing administrator, said that as of June, NIA’s contribution to the Food Self Sufficiency Program (FSSP) – a priority of the Aquino administration — was already attained.

Nangel said 190,973 hectares out of the three-year target of 190,875 hectares have been irrigated.

Of the total, 101,698 hectares were newly irrigated areas while water supply was restored to 89,275 hectares.

“We were able to complete our FSSP targets as of June, and anything that we will accomplish in the next six months of the year will provide buffer in our rice production,” Nangel said.

“We would be able to complete all 2012 irrigation program by September,” he added.

After the program, several loyal employees had their pictures taken with Nangel. It came to a point that they had to form a queue to await their turn.

Nangel said he has accepted his leaving NIA, considering that he was supposed to have retired last February (not last year as previously reported) when he turned 65.

“My term was extended up to last June 30, but my replacement was announced just three days ago,” he said.

Asked whether he had to step down sooner than he expected, he said: “I don’t know about that.”

Last week, Nangel said he might be staying in office more or less by a year longer and that naming his successor could take that long.

Nangel, an engineer that worked for NIA and rose from the ranks during the past four decades, said he would be “going back to farming.”

What kind of farming? “I’ll grow hybrid rice,” the native of the rice-growing town of Talavera in Nueva Ecija said.

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Does that mean he would use NIA’s irrigation facilities? “Yes, you can’t grow rice without water,” Nangel said.

TAGS: Agriculture, Claro V. Maranan, Irrigation, News

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